Originally Posted by Darone2007
Trying to change the radio in a 76 31ft land yart
You can usually find NPR on 91.5 or 88.9.... use the round knob on the right.
OK, serious here. Get a new automotive radio with CD player. Make sure it can play MP3
and WMA (not quite as important) formats. Decent models available for $120 or less.
A new radio will come with a pigtail connector with 12 wires:
1-Keep-alive (connect this to 12V
, this keeps the clock running)
1-Antenna Drive (not needed, used in cars with motorized antennas)
When you take out the old radio, you will find only 10 wires. Eight wires go to the speakers through 2-wire plugs, one for each speaker. You really don't need to retain the plugs, but if you like the idea of occasionally removing the radio (I doubt you'll ever need to do it), cut the wires close to the old radio. You can use small
wire nuts (Radio Shack or maybe even Home Depot) or crimp-on wire joints to reconnect to the new pigtail. Your use manual will tell you the color code for each pair of speaker wires. The nice thing about retaining the plugs is that if you make an error in left-right or front-rear, you can fix it by just unplugging. One word of caution on the speakers--modern amplifiers don't have a "ground" side for each speaker pair. You must connect all 8 wires individually, eg, you can't buss the "ground" side together to reduce the wire count (why would you want to do this? well, if you were rewiring the shell and wanted to add maybe an outside speaker connection).
The other two wires are power and ground, with an inline fuse in the power lead. When you wire the power, you have to wire both the power lead and the "keep-alive" lead together to 12V
. The "keep-alive" keeps your station memory and clock running. The "power" lead lights up the display. In a car, when you turn on the ignition, the power comes on and the display lights up. We don't have such a "vehicle occupied" switch in our Airstreams, so you'll have a small but continuous current keeping the display lit up. You can decrease the "off" current to the radio by removing the face plate (this is a theft deterent feature of almost all new radios and is easy to do). Even with the face plate removed, you'll always have a small current (so small that the self-discharge on your battery will be many times bigger) keeping the clock running.
Maybe this sounds complicated, but it's pretty easy once you start pairing up the speaker wires. The old antenna connector is the same on modern radios. You're only challenge will be to make a new panel that the radio will fit in. Your new radio will come with a sheet metal cage--make a panel with a rectangle that just fits this cage and secure it by bending the tabs inward to grip the inner face of the new panel. Then the radio will slip into the cage and lock automatically (there is a thin metal key that unlocks the radio from the cage so you can slide it out).